The best varies from person to person, if you’re an accountant then a machine with a powerful CPU would be much more preferable over a machine with high-end GPU. However, if you are a student who needs a laptop for note taking or watching online lectures, then you’d be okay with a basic budget device.
Although, you could stop researching and pick the most expensive laptop, it isn’t the right solution. Afterall, is there any point in paying extra for the resources you won’t need? That’s why, It is very essential to ascertain your needs before buying a laptop, only then will you be able to know what you need in it.
Buying a laptop for EVERYONE is not a practical solution (unless you’re willing to spend high), as a budget machine serves limited functionality. To solve this issue, we worked with computing industry experts and researched 64 laptops for a period of 33 weeks.
- Minimum and Recommended System Requirements
- The Best Laptops in 2021
- 1. Best Gaming Laptop: Asus ROG Strix Scar III
- 2. Best For Professionals: Dell XPS 15
- 3. Best 2-in-1 Convertible: HP Spectre x360
- 4. Best with MacOS: Apple MacBook Pro
- 5. Best with GTX 1050 ti: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme
- 6. Best with Dual Storage: Acer Aspire 7
- 7. Best 13-inch Laptop: HP Envy 13
- 8. Best Battery Life: LG Gram
- 9. Cheap Yet Best: Acer Swift 5
- Frequently Asked Questions
- The Verdict
Minimum and Recommended System Requirements
An all around machine can handle diversified tasks like video editing, gaming, general usage, and office work without any lags. If you’re planning to purchase one, here are the specifications you should consider.
|Minimum System Requirements||Recommended System Requirements|
|CPU||9th Gen Intel Core i5||10th Gen Intel Core i7|
|Storage||256GB SSD||512GB or better|
|OS||Windows 10 S or Home Edition||Windows 10 Pro Edition|
|Display||13.3-inch FHD (1920 x 1080)||15.6-inch FHD IPS (1920 x 1080)|
|GPU||AMD or Intel integrated GPU||Dedicated GPU with 4GB VRAM|
|Battery||Up to 4 Hours||Up to 8 Hours|
|Weight||Less than 6 lbs/pounds||Less than 4 lbs/pounds|
The Best Laptops in 2021
These laptops will work as a multi-purpose device and can be used by students, working professionals, professional photos, and video editors. Even gamers can use these devices to play games as well. Not just that, these laptops will also offer a great value-for-money and one device will be more than enough for everyone (all-purpose). So let’s jump to the list.
1. Best Gaming Laptop: Asus ROG Strix Scar III
The first device on our list is the Asus ROG Strix Scar III and from the first impression, it might look like a gaming laptop. It is marketed as a gaming laptop but it is also an excellent laptop, thanks to high-performance CPU with a peak CPU clock speed of 4.5GHz and the high-end RTX GPU with up to 8GB video memory.
This is a high-end machine, as it comes with a 15.6-inch bezel-less screen that is meant for gaming, as it offers a peak refresh rate of 240Hz and a response time of 3ms. It also comes with a feature called ROG Keystone that can store your favorite gaming preferences and it also doubles as an encrypted storage device. This is an IPS LCD screen and is factory color calibrated, enabling the device to be used for professional tasks like photo and video editing.
As per the raw performance, the Asus ROG Strix Scar III (2019) is based on the 9th Gen Intel Core i7-9750H 6-core 12-thread processor that can reach up to 4.5GHz. This CPU is combined with the gaming-class Nvidia RTX 2070 GPU with up to 8GB video memory capable of handling any AAA games.
As per the storage, the laptop comes with 1TB SSD based flash storage with 16GB RAM, enabling a good multitasking process and it can also handle normal day-to-day tasks with ease.
As this is a gaming laptop, it does weigh a bit heavy with 5.67 pounds and it regularly lasted for 6 hours with our usage pattern. Overall, the ASUS ROG Strix Scar III (2019) is a great machine for both gamers, video editors, and other users who require a laptop with good CPU and GPU capability.
- High-performance CPU with up to 4.5GHz clock speed
- GPU offers 8GB video memory
- Thin bezel display with a higher refresh rate
- Good thermal design
- Great keyboard with RGB lighting
- A bit heavy and bulky
- Below-average battery life
- Does not support Wi-Fi 6
2. Best For Professionals: Dell XPS 15
Most of the gaming laptops look big bulky and offers a flashy design that might not be everyone’s cup of tea, whereas the Dell XPS 15 is a tad different. This is not marketed as a gaming laptop but this device is fully capable of playing games, although not at the native 4K resolution.
The laptop comes with a 15.6-inch IPS ultra HD 4K screen, offering a native resolution of 3840 x 2160p with tempered glass protection. This display can go up to 500 nits of peak brightness and also supports Adobe RGB color space, offering an excellent color reproduction, making this a tailor-made machine for professional photo and video colorists.
The computer is based on the high-end Intel Core i7-9750H processor with six cores and a maximum CPU clock speed of up to 4.5GHz with a base clock speed of 2.4GHz. This processor can handle native 4K video editing and the GTX 1650 does help with the rendering process as well.
However, the graphics card might not be able to play games at native 4K resolution but you can play almost any games at either 1080p or 1440p resolution.
In terms of storage, the laptop offers nothing but the best with super-fast 1TB SSD along with 16GB RAM. Having a faster SSD will enable the computer to reduce video rendering time and boot time as well. And the higher amount of RAM will also help the device with a multi-tasking process as well.
The device weighs 5.50 pounds and it can easily last for 6 hours and is great for a laptop with a 4K resolution screen. The Dell XPS 15.6-inch is a device for those who want a high-performance laptop that looks like a regular laptop with simple yet premium looking design and can be carried to office meets and classes.
- Almost bezel-less display design with 4K resolution
- Premium build finish
- Slim profile
- Good keyboard feedback
- Amazing range of I/O ports
- Trackpad needs improvement
3. Best 2-in-1 Convertible: HP Spectre x360
A laptop should be able to offer good performance and the HP Spectre x360 does the same while being a 2-in-1 device with support for touch screen. The laptop has a 4K viberant display design with thin bezels on all four sides with a matte finish that prevents reflections. Thanks to the higher screen-to-body ratio, this laptop looks much compact when compared to other laptops with similar screen sizes.
The HP Spectre x360 2-in-1 laptop is based on the Intel Core i7-97550H processor capable of operating at 2.6GHz by default and it can reach up to 4.5GHz when there is a load. Similarly, the laptop does come with the GTX 1650 GPU that comes with 4GB of VRAM and capable of performing high-end graphic intensive tasks.
Another aspect where the HP Spectre x360 2-in-1 shines is the storage. It comes with 512GB of SSD. In terms of RAM, the notebook offers 16GB DDR4 RAM and offers good multitasking performance. Do note that, the RAM on the laptop can also be expanded with ease.
The HP Spectre x360 2-in-1 comes with a big battery, capable of offering up to 10 hours of battery life on a single charge, allowing users to marathon an entire movie series on a single charge. The device weighs 4.81 pounds and is a great option for those who are looking for a laptop with a thin and lightweight design. If you are looking for a computer with an efficient processor, then consider this thin and light model with great battery life and performance.
- Thin bezel design
- 4K UHD touchscreen display
- 2 Thunderbolt 3 ports
- 10th Gen H-series efficient processor
- Good battery life
- Tactile keyboard
- Plenty of I/O options
4. Best with MacOS: Apple MacBook Pro
The new 16-inch Apple MacBook Pro is the most powerful laptop that the company has ever made. Though it is a great all around laptop, it is not a device to consider if you are planning for gaming, as the number of games available for the macOS is limited. If you are into producing video, programming, or even graphics designing, the 16-inch MacBook Pro is a great machine for sure.
The notebook has a 16-inch display with a native 2K resolution screen. This display supports P3 color gamut with a peak brightness of 500nits, supporting HDR playback on platforms like Netflix. Thanks to the color-accurate display, the laptop can be used for professional video and photo editing as the device supports 10bit colors. Though it is a 16-inch laptop, it just weighs 4.3 pounds and is easy to carry around.
The notebook is based on the 9th Gen Intel Core i7 processor with six cores offering a base clock speed of 2.6GHz and a boost clock speed of 4.5GHz. This processor is coupled with the efficient AMD Radeon Pro 5300M GPU, which is an efficient graphics card and consumes less power even while doing highly demanding tasks. If you want to play games on this device, then you can install Windows 10 OS using the Bootcamp option and do the same. Even though this is a high-end computer, it still manages to offer 10 hours of battery life on a single charge.
As per the storage, the laptop has 512GB SSD and it cannot be upgraded. To improve storage security, the storage is paired with a T2 chipset making it impossible to steal data from this device. As per the RAM, the laptop has 16GB RAM, and again it is also not upgradable. Even for the heavy usage, 16GB RAM should be more than enough, considering the highly optimized macOS.
- Amazing and bright display
- Premium design and build
- 10 hours of battery life
- Storage secured by T2 chipset
- Built-in Touch ID
- Only USB Type-C interface
- RAM and Storage cannot be upgraded
- Sub-par web camera performance
5. Best with GTX 1050 ti: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme
The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme comes from the ThinkPad series of laptops that are known for offering rugged design, great keyboard, and high-performance specifications. This is one of the most powerful ThinkPad laptops that work for both professionals and gamers.
The laptop has a 15.6-inch IPS type display with full HD (1920 x 1080p) resolution, offering up to 300 nits of brightness and the display also has an anti-glare finish that prevents reflections offering a great viewing experience. Thanks to the higher brightness level, the notebook can be used for watching HDR videos and movies and they look vivid and true-to-life.
The laptop is based on the 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8750H gaming processor with a base clock speed of 2.2GHz and a boost clock speed of 4.1GHz. This is a high-end processor with turbo boost technology capable of handling tasks like video editing and gaming.
As per the storage, the device has super-fast 1TB flash storage along with 16GB RAM and the laptop runs on Windows 10 OS and can easily offer up to 10 hours of battery life on a single charge and the laptop does support fast charging as well.
The laptop weighs 3.76 pounds and is much lighter when compared to the competition. It does offer some interesting features like a built-in fingerprint sensor, improving the overall security of the laptop.
- Good built quality
- Best-in-class battery life
- Built-in fingerprint sensor
- Good keyboard layout
- Highly sensitive trackpad
- A bit old processor (8th Gen)
- Does not support Wi-Fi 6
6. Best with Dual Storage: Acer Aspire 7
The Newest Acer Aspire 7 offers the right balance between the power and performance and is also one of the most affordable laptops in the market based on the 9th Gen Core i7 gaming processor with 6 CPU clocks and 2.6GHz clock speed which can be boosted up to 4.5GHz. The laptop has a big 15.6-inch screen with FHD (1920 x 1080) resolution that runs at 60fps, so no fancy higher refresh rate.
The laptop is based on the Intel Core i7-9750H high-performance mobile CPU with a base clock speed of 2.6GHz along with hyperthreading technology. The notebook also has a dedicated GPU the GTX 1050 with a video memory of 3GB, hence capable of offering good gaming performance, especially at 1080p resolution.
If there is an area where the Acer Aspire 7 shines is the storage. Unlike most of the laptops that either offers a limited amount of flash storage or more HDD based storage, the Acer Aspire 7 edition offers 2TB SSD along with 2TB HDD offering a total storage space of 4TB. Not just that, the laptop also includes a massive 32GB of RAM and this computer will never run out of memory.
The laptop is slightly on the heavier side, as this laptop weighs at 5.18 pounds. However, it does include a lot of I/O options and one might not require a dongle to connect any sort of accessories whatsoever. Lastly, the laptop can last up to 5 hours with continuous usage and make sure to connect the device to a power source while gaming to get better performance.
- High-performance CPU with 6 cores
- Spacious trackpad
- Good keyboard
- Offers massive 4 TB of storage space
- 32GB RAM included in the device
- No customer ratings available yet
- Thick bezels across the display
7. Best 13-inch Laptop: HP Envy 13
Most of the laptops are big with a minimum screen size of 15.6-inch, whereas the HP Envy 13 is a tad different. As the name suggests, this laptop comes with a 13.3-inch display, not just an ordinary compact display but with a native 4K resolution with support for touch input. The laptop has minimal bezel design and the display is protected by a tempered glass from Corning Gorilla.
The laptop is based on a U series quad-core processor the Intel Core i7-8565U that can reach up to 4.6GHz with a cache of 8MB, offering good bandwidth between each process, reducing the loading time on demanding tasks. The laptop does include the Nvidia MX250, which is again an efficient graphics card with 2GB video memory and does not tax on the battery. Hence, you can play games on the HP Envy 13.3-inch but with lower graphics settings.
The laptop offers 512GB SSD based storage with 16GB RAM. It uses an M.2 SSD and it can be upgraded in the future if required. Given this is an SSD based laptop, the device can boot in no time and can load apps like Adobe Photoshop or After Effects quickly. Though it is a thin and light machine, it still has a full-sized USB-A port along with support for USB 3.1 Gen 1 with higher data transfer speed, enabling users to connect modern storage devices with the laptop.
As a result of having an efficient CPU and GPU on the HP Envy 13.3-inch can be seen on the battery life and the laptop can easily last for 11 to 12 hours on a single charge. When it comes to weight, the device just weighs 2.60 pounds making this one of the lightest all-around laptops.
- 4K resolution display
- Supports touch screen
- Good audio output
- User upgradable storage option
- Smaller trackpad
- Limited gaming capability
8. Best Battery Life: LG Gram
LG’s series of notebooks are known for offering exceptional battery life and this LG Gram laptop is not different. The company claims that the laptop can last up to 18.5-hours on a single charge, whereas in real-life it can only last for around 15 hours, which is still an impressive number. This model also has one of the best trackpads on a Windows laptop with accurate tracking.
The notebook has a 14-inch screen, which is a sweet spot for most of the users offering a real-estate and compactness. The display on this computer has 1080p resolution with good color reproduction and a respectable amount of brightness, making sure that the content on the laptop looks true to life.
This machine is based on the 10th Gen Intel Core i5-1035G7 processor with four cores and a base clock speed of 1.2GHz on all four cores and these cores can shoot up to 3.7GHz. It also comes with the Intel Iris Plus graphics, capable of handling most of the day-to-day tasks with ease.
If you want a laptop for gaming, then this might not be the device you can consider. As per the RAM and storage, the device does offer 8GB RAM and 256GB internal storage with an option to expand both storage and RAM if required.
The laptop weighs 2.20 pounds, making this a lightweight design. If you are looking for a laptop with the main priority like a compact display and a good battery, then you can go with the LG Gram Laptop 14-inch.
- Amazing all-day battery life
- Thin and light design
- Plenty of I/O options
- Good trackpad
- microSD card slot for a storage solution
- No discrete graphics card
- Just 8GB RAM
9. Cheap Yet Best: Acer Swift 5
A mid-range laptop like the Acer Swift 5 Ultra-Thin is one of those few notebooks that offer a good value-for-money with an adequate amount of hardware performance. This laptop looks modern, thanks to the 15.6-inch display with FHD (1920 x 1080) resolution along with support for 10 point touch input. Not just that, the laptop is one of the compact 15-inch notebooks available in the market.
The computer is based on an 8th Gen Intel Core i5-8265U quad-core CPU with a base clock speed of 1.6GHz and a boost clock speed of 3.9GHz, capable of running games and software that depends on single-core performance. The laptop also has a built-in Intel Iris Plus GPU. Though it might not be able to handle AAA gaming titles, some games can be played at lower graphics settings.
There is a 256GB SSD storage that uses NVMe storage technology with higher read and writes speeds. This laptop takes less than 10 seconds to cold boot and 8GB RAM also helps to improve the multitasking and can keep a couple of apps or software in the memory without any issue. If required, both the RAM and storage on the Acer Swift 5 Ultra-Thin can be upgraded with minimal effort.
The laptop weighs 2.20 pounds, making it one of the lightest 15.6-inch laptops in the business. The device does support fast charging and it can easily last for more than 10 hours on a single charge along with support for Windows Hello using the built-in fingerprint sensor for added security.
- Thin and light design
- Vibrant display with touch support
- Good keyboard
- Built-in fingerprint sensor
- Supports fast charging
- No dedicated graphics card
- Limited amount of storage
Frequently Asked Questions
Is buying an all around laptop worth it?
Definitely yes. An all around laptop is something that everyone can use. From professional gamers to a software engineer to a student. Hence, these laptops could be a bit more expensive, as they pack the latest hardware, capable of handling all the tasks that different users might require.These laptops are also known for offering good amounts of CPU and GPU performance, which will again ensure that they will age well and can be used for the next few years without any issue.
What are some of the best games played on all around laptops?
Even professional people consider a little bit of gaming on the laptop. Games like CS: Go, PubG, and GTA: V are some of the most commonly played games. Similarly, these laptops can also play games like Modern Combat, Red Dead Redemption 2, and Tomb Rider based on GPU capacity.However, some laptops come with a 4K screen, where a user might have to tone down the graphics scale to get good gaming performance. So, one can easily play even a AAA title on an all-around laptop without any issue.
Are all around laptops expensive?
A laptop like Apple MacBook Pro or the HP Spectre x360 are on the expensive side. These laptops do offer thin and light design and they are engineered in such a way that the overall design of the product will not affect the actual performance of the device. However, not all around laptops are expensive. There are a lot of models that qualify as an all around laptop and still are as affordable as a regular laptop.
The best changes for different people, someone into GPU intensive tasks might prefer a machine that has an excellent GPU, for those who perform CPU intensive tasks might have a soft corner for laptops with best-in-class CPUs, then there are expensive machines that are great at everything.
Our aim with this post is to help people discover the right laptops for their computing needs. Most of the models in our list have the latest specifications that can handle high-end tasks without any troubles. Not only that, our list also includes best laptops in the budget segment (so don’t worry if you’re short on budget, because this list has you covered too!)
If you’re purchasing a laptop for specific tasks, then we recommend you to compare the minimum system requirements of the software you’ll use with the laptop specifications, because many a times, even the best machine misses out a specific aspect needed for the software.
We’ve divided the list into 3 parts:
1. The first 5 models are high-end models with different combinations, they’re capable of performing resource intensive tasks such as machine learning, web designing, video editing, data science studies, GIS software, 3D modeling, game development, running AAA games, etc.
2. The next 4 models are capable of doing medium resource intensive tasks and don’t cost a lot. They come with the latest specs and can do many high-end tasks too. However, they won’t be able to do all the tasks at once, but if you’re having specific purpose, then these machines can handle it pretty smoothly.
3. The last 3 models are under budget options, they are capable of doing basic tasks, can run mid-end games without any troubles, can be used for business activities, grad school, professional tasks like stock trading. These are quite common among kids, seniors, and content writers, etc. However, they lack some or the other aspect which could create performance issues for resource intensive tasks.
Our goal with this post is to help you find the perfect laptop for your computing needs. We’ll regularly update this post (monthly) to make sure that it has the most relevant models when you visit. If you still have any trouble finding one, comment below or contact us. Our tech experts will assist you and help you make an informed purchase decision.